Trofeo Mezzalama, being held every second year, is often affected by severe weather conditions as its course takes athletes to high alpine ridges that hover around the altitude of 4000 m. The 2019 edition was no different and due to strong winds the organizers had to be creative, however, they still delivered a challenging and exciting route.
An amazing battle took place between the top three men’s teams, and only the last climb and descent decided the winner. In the last couple of years, in the World Cup and Grand Course races, the strength of the current Italian team is undeniable and the trio of Michele Boscacci, Robert Antonioli and Matteo Eydallin came on top once again in 4h 45min 30sec.
For Matteo Eydallin, the specialist of long team races, this was the fifth Mezzalama victory as he lost only one edition since 2009!
Second place went to a strong Swiss team – Marti Werner, William Boffelli and Martin Anthamatten – who challenged the Italians almost the whole day. At the end, they lost only 2min 51sec in this almost 5h race.
Kilian Jornet teamed up with an Austrian Jakob Herrmann, his 2018 Pierra Menta partner where they led until the last stage, and Jakob’s countrymen Armin Hoefl. While perhaps not as strong as the top two teams on paper, this trio was hot on the heels of the Swiss and missed on the second place by only 1min at the finish line.
» Men’s race full results
In the women’s race, a dominant French team – Axelle Mollaret, Alba de Silvestro, Lorna Bonnel – took the win with a big gap.
The race behind them was much more interesting as only 30 seconds were the difference between second and third! Two Italian teams battled all the way to the finish line with Giulia Murada, Ilaria Veronese and Mara Martini prevailing over Elena Nicolini, Bianca Balzarini and Corina Ghirardi.
The elite category North American women’s team delivered a great performance to place 6th despite racing together for the very first time. Canadian Kylee Ohler teamed up with two US Team members Jessie Young and Sierra Anderson to take on the challenge. Both Kylee and Jessie have lots of experience from big skimo races while Sierra is quickly learning yet has tremendous athletic base from other sports.
» Women’s race full results